Photo: David Nestor, flickr.
For most of his life, Dick Perkins has lived in the public eye, or at least under those eyes still learning to read.
“I didn’t have a normal childhood. How could I? Long before reality television, there I was—living my life on the written page. Everything I did was captured in stories for other people’s education.”
Jane was “just some girl,” he claims. Perkins had no part in the audition process which would eventually make them a literary couple, nor any idea how that pairing would eventually blossom into love and marriage.
“It’s easy to see in hindsight,” he muses. “Two people working long hours, day after day—this was before the child labour laws.”
From the 1930s to the 1970s, their adventures together were serialized, published, and immortalized as an iconic landmark in North American educational programming. But, it was too good to last.
“Those same long days with endless re-takes and re-makes of the same re-hashed scripts—they take their toll,” he reflects, “especially when you’re still together during the off-hours. I felt trapped. I needed space.”
The feeling was mutual.
“In many ways, Dick is still the same little boy who once pulled my pigtails and ran me down on the playground,” Jane told Mooseclean’s. “I’ve waited for decades for an enlightened maturity I now know will never come.”
When confronted with this information, Perkins reacted bitterly.
“Yeah? Well tell her I’m sick of looking at her stupid face. And her voice. That awful voice! The voice that shrieks even in my dreams.”
Jack and Jill Phillips, whose lives togethers followed a similar arc, expressed regret at the news.
“I love her as much today as the day she saved my life,” Jack gushed, with Jill nodding emphatically in response.
“When he fell down that hill and I bandaged his head, I knew we’d be together forever.”